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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 13, 2014 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT

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back to washington, d.c. to work with me. i hear from them over and over again. their biggest challenge as far as d.c. is concerned is that every time pc does something by giving them money or something else, they attach all kinds of federal strings to it. i could not agree with them more. we can run these school district ourselves right here in idaho. the legislature can do this. they don't need washington, d.c. tying strings to it. >> mr. mitchell. public school system needs al, no question. we spent less per state -- than any other state per pupil, less than even mississippi. that we need to minimize
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regulations and strings that are money that comes from the federal government. the programs are well intended, federalntimes with the government there are excessive regulations. one of the things i bring to the table is having worked inside the federal government and having worked at the sec, i have an understanding of these one away bureaucracies and agencies and how we need to keep them in -- let themt the over regulate various aspects of our lives, including education. >> let's go to the panel now. dr. wetherbee. >> tell us who you identify with philosophically and ideological?
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-- ideologically? >> i am in idaho democrat. i do not necessarily subscribe to any california or massachusetts agenda. i will represent the values of people in idaho. i think the people of idaho do tend to be conservative, but we are also most importantly, independent-minded. and we don't want people from massachusetts or california, those types of liberals, telling us how we should live our lives. i admireof the people in the u.s. senate, two of my heroes growing up were william mara as well as frank church. i think they both served our state well and represented the interest and i use of the people of idaho. >> your follow-up? >> ideologically, where do you stand on the political spectrum? you are saying you are a liberal democrat. what are you?
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>> that is silly. i'm not a liberal democrat. and oftentimes the labor -- the labels are a substitute for actual discussion of the issues. my calling me a liberal democrat, i have not been called that guy was probably 19 years old. it's interesting to hear that today. i would characterize myself as an idaho democrat and someone who is an independent and represents the values that we hold important here in idaho. >> you have an opportunity to respond. >> thank you very much. yes, he is liberal. go to the website and compare what he says to what harry reid says the much what barbara boxer says. i work with these people everyday. i know them and i listen to them. i know what their core and fiber is. you compare what they write compared to what he's written and there is no question. everybody says, no, i'm a
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moderate. i'm not liberal, this or that. the fact of the matter is, the way he's talking about the issues is exactly what i hear everyday from these far left liberal organizations running our country today in the u.s. senate. >> could i have just a quick follow-up? said the national journal -- survey, it identifies you two years running as the most conservative united states senator. i think many people or member in idaho you are viewed as a pragmatic conservative. now you have appeared to have evolved into an ideologue. what has happened? >> i would disagree with that appearance. that votea few of us conservatively, and this will come as a great shock, but we are from conservative states. to come from conservative state, whether it's utah, wyoming, oklahoma, texas,
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south carolina -- we vote conservatively. and even in these polls, i lined up at the conservative end of the spectrum. i will continue voting theervatively to represent conservative ideals. ,nd rubber, 60% of idaho ends as you know, identify themselves as either very conservative or somewhat conservative. i feel like i'm giving exactly what idahoans want. >> could i respond just briefly echo >> yes, 15 seconds. >> thank you. the conservative ratings, i think, are just goofy. i don't know whether it is national view or something else putting this label as conservative. conservative should not include
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someone who participated in shutting down the government, wasting $24 billion of taxpayer money. that is not conservative. that's just goofy. >> more on the issues with justin core. both campaigns said along questions for the other candidate. we will start with a question for nels mitchell for senator risch. why did you go against the legislation cosponsored by senator crapo and at -- aimed at reducing the mystic violent? >> that is an interesting question. amestic violence is despicable acts. i've heard all the speeches. i've heard my opponent giving speeches. i sit on the senate floor and i hear lots of flowery speeches. astarted mine public service a prosecutor. i participated in the northside rate this case. i personally put michael hightower in prison. i've put lots of people in prison for domestic violence.
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it's a terrible thing. everyone can agree with that. this is not a federal issue. it's a state issue. constitution, article one, section eight is very clear that the central government is supposed to be a very limited authority. hate domestic violence. everyone hates domestic violence. i have done something about it. but the federal government has no business taking over this issue from the states. it belongs to the states and this is why we've got this bloated, large, federal government that we have today. >> mr. mitchell? was in the senate, i would have been a cosponsor of the extension of the violence against women act with senator crapo. domestic violence, as we've seen with the recent nfl scandal, remains a serious problem. the violence against women act has a number of good features that have helped reduce domestic violence. it actually has funded
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some of our prosecutor positions here in idaho. i think it is a serious problem. i would have worked with senator crapo to cosponsor the extension of the act. of the 10th amendment argument, that is just silly, once again. because my opponent is cosponsoring legislation that gund federalize idaho's carry permit law. you can't have it both ways. you can't hide behind the 10th amendment and vote against extension of the violence against women act and then vote to federalize the permit carry law. >> may i respond? >> yes. >> i start my career with foring them behind bars domestic violence.
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when i originally went into the legislature back in the 1970, that was one of my biggest pushes i had. sense,have common keeping these people locked up that should be locked up. >> dovetailing on your gridlock comment from a moment ago, excluding schools, which reopened the debate with today, what is the biggest issue facing idaho? and again, dovetailing on the gridlock reference, can congress do something about it? doyes, congress can something about it, but first of all in congress, we have to get shrill partisanship that we currently have in the senate and house. we must move beyond that. we must have people back in congress who are willing to work across the aisle to try to address the problems we face here in idaho as well as in the country. in terms of the major problem we the in idaho, is jobs and economy. it is simply jobs and the economy. income per lowest
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person in the entire country. once again, in the race to the bottom, we have passed this is a be and arkansas. -- mississippi and arkansas. we need someone back in the senate who will work to promote jobs and the economy of idaho. a simple solution -- i mean, one example was the summer when my opponent voted to block the bring the jobs home act. idaho has lost 18,000 jobs to china since the year 2000. all we have to do is eliminate the tax break we've been getting to come things -- giving to companies for shipping jobs overseas. specificy echo >> the -- senator? likes the specific question of challenges for idaho, it is something every american should be focused on. that is, the federal debt.
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the federal government is about $11 billion a day. the first four years i was there, they were borrowing four $.5 billion to pay their bills that night. the last couple of years, because of the tax increases that obama has been able to get through with obamacare and others, they are only borrowing $2.5 billion per day. the national debt was at $10 trillion when i got there, and now it is at $17 chilean. -- $17 chilean. trillion. but itgot us into this, is compromise that will get us out of it. i'm not going to give up. this nonsense is -- has got to stop. wetherbee. >> i wanted to chime in about the debt really quickly. the senator
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considering what the federal budget is for social security, medicare, defense, what you pay for that, there is no room, if any, to cut. what would you cut? what can you cut away? cut.u can first, let's talk about what we won't cut. i promise when iran for the u.s. senate i would not cut benefits that you've earned. social security, medicare, and veterans benefits -- i will not cut those. indeed, i don't believe congress will cut those. but there is plenty of room in the rest of the federal budget to start cutting and we need to start cutting. that will get us to where we need to be. we cannot just turn our head and look the other way. we do not get the discussion when he honest in washington dc three or four years ago, ibo were talking about and nobody did anything. things keep on and piling up. >> do you have a response, mr.
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mitchell? >> i agree that there is a problem, but it started in the bush it ministration with the two unfunded wars. it on thesimply blame president and the current administration. they are still trying to pay off the two unfunded wars that were started by president bush. in terms of dealing with the dead, yes, it's something we need to address. by going back to washington and just shrilly voting no against everything, that will not solve the problem. we need to come together and have a bipartisan solution in order to get the debt down. increase in money coming into the federal government? >> o, certainly. it's very easy. we need to close the loopholes. we need reform the current tax laws," that are benefiting special interests. we can make great strides in terms of reducing the debt. >> senator?
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>> did you hear that enthusiastic "o, certainly,"? tax increases, that is what they want. i promise you i will not raise your taxes. got a spending problem. that is what america has got. that is what we need to focus on. >> dr. wetherbee. ?> i begin with senator risch >> correct. >> back to 2006, senator risch. you pushncentives that through the legislature that shifted the funding of education from the property tax to the there has been a lot of commentary recently about the negative shift that has had on public education. the flow of the revenue source to public schools throughout the state of idaho an equalized tax.
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impact today on idaho? >> that is a really good question. i know there has been some discussion. in 2006 when i became governor, i had lived through three or four decades of fighting against property tax. tax.ans hate property i called a special session of the legislature. -- you used "push the word "push." you know what happens when you try to push anything to the legislature. you have to finesse. we took the milledge off of property tax for maintenance and operations. that reduced property taxes by 20%. and we also put a penny on the sales tax. and we put money into the rainy day fund, which helped in very difficult times. we put it on the ballot. voted for that.
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if i am elected, i promise you i will continue to use the influence of this office to make sure that your property taxes are not increased. this shaman, along with the democratic side for cover -- this gentleman, along with the democratic side for governor has promised he will increase your property taxes by 20%. if you want a 20% increase and go back to 2006, this is your guy. but mr. mitchell? -- >> mr. mitchell? >> first, it's a lawyer trick was a senator is doing. he blames me for things that other people are doing. he tries to link me with other people because he doesn't want to address the issues. the tax shift that decimated our public education system in idaho, i think the students in the this state and the parent an estate an apology. as i've traveled around the state this year, has devastated public education. a lot of our school district can
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only afford to stay open four days a week. a lot of the programs have been cut because of that. whole that our public schools -- a created a whole that our public schools have never fully recovered from. i will not be focusing on raising property taxes. that is just silly. something -- i agree that we need to focus on education in this state. because right now, we are spending once again the lowest amount per pupil in the country. legacy of the senator's short term as governor. but i have listened to the gentleman talk about blaming me for education. i had nothing to do with funding education since 2006. andy january, february, march the legislature meets and they decide what they will tax and what they will spend.
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what we said in the legislature in 2006 is, you can use income tax, you can use sales tax, income from public lands. you can use liquor fund and lottery fund, but not property tax. year.ey do that every it's a difficult job. i did it for a long time. you have to balance, but it has nothing to do with the whining they've been doing about lowering property taxes. we actually lowered property taxes. >> if i could just have one moment. in terms of lowering property taxes, that's a false issue. the property taxes were only lowered because we have a homeowners exemption. they were only lowered for people with large land holdings. he did not have a positive impact on most of the people in idaho. and it is the single reason why our public schools are in the sad condition that they are in today. >> that is simply not true.
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thehis is a question from risch campaign for mr. nels mitchell. write [indiscernible] modelcame a collaborative for the -- and became a model for the collaborative rulemaking process. but i have no argument -- >> i have no argument with that collaborative process. my disappointment with the senator is that he has blocked the collaborative process that --resentative since and since and started in connection with protecting bolder white clouds. it is my understanding that he would support the proposal, but since he's been back in washington, he has been the reason that the protection of the bolder white clouds has not gone forward. >> thank you very much.
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i know you are relatively new here. let me explain what happened here on c drive. you're right. i embraced the plan that mike simpson put together. the collaborative process is much abused and it's a difficult process. but they had people on both sides come to the table and agree it was a great plan that mike had put together. to washington, d.c. and the radical environmentalists, the democrats in congress, took what mike had put together and dismantled it. we need to have a public hearing on this. i had a public hearing on it and had people come in and say, look, we were collaborative.
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we wanted this. but it was changed when he got to washington, d.c. i know you don't know anything about this because you weren't there at the time, but those are the facts. i still support what mike simpson did here in the collaborative process. it's a good plan. , once again,ly lawyer trick. you are blaming other people that are not in the room without names for things. you go back there for six years. six years is 20 of time to sit down with representative simpson and work out the issues and not simply blame some unnamed liberals back in washington. we need to go beyond just blaming the liberal bogeyman and actually try to solve this so that we can protect special places in idaho. >> let's go back to policy your positionh of
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involves foreign policy and the ripple effect can sometimes be felt, many times read here in idaho. what foreign policy issue other than isis and the conflicts in should americans, idahoans, and congress be playing close attention to right now? >> he does mention some of them. i spend most of tuesday and thursday afternoons in intelligence meetings dealing with this stuff. there are challenges all over the world. the world is a dangerous place. but the important thing is that we as americans continue to lead. we are the best country on the face of this planet. we are the strongest country on the face of this planet and the world looks to us. we have been deteriorating on
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the national stage since president obama did his apologies to her, which started in cairo, egypt, not long after he took office. we need to talk about american exceptionalism. we need to project american exceptionalism, and if we do that, the rest of the world will follow. we can't be the worlds policeman in all of these fights i go on. as you know, a year ago, i led the charge to stop us from going into serious, if we had -- which would have been a horrible mess if we had done that. that the united states is the greatest -- best and greatest country in the world, but we need to use our power wisely. unfortunately, we did not, starting with the bush administration and the approach that we took to the middle east. we do face challenges around the world. and the united states does need to be a leader.
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but we need to be able to look around the corner, not just react to today's problem. we need to be focusing on what around the court -- what is around the corner and what the long-term impact is of our involvement in places such as iraq. you don't just invade. you need an endgame, and unfortunately, the bush it ministration did not. we do face the challenges, but one of the things i find disappointing is the shrillness and the partisanship currently in the senate on these issues. we need to have a bipartisan approach to foreign policy and as we change -- face these challenges, we need to make sure we are working collaboratively with the neighboring countries such as in the middle east. >> again, i'm focused on trying to keep us out of these things.
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i voted against the most recent proposal, the arm and to train the so-called rebels in syria. i think that was a really bad idea. any confidence in those people. serious is made up of -- syria is made up of very complex tribes. their fights have been going on for thousands of years. we have to protect ourselves. >> dr. weatherbee. >> question for mr. mitchell. you stated early on in your campaign that if elected, you would serve only one term, saying that six years is a long time. why would you volunteer to be a lame duck the mowing your sworn into office? >> -- the moment you are sworn into office? >> six years is a long time. and one of the primary called -- problems we have in politics today are career politicians. they get back to washington and all they are worried about is running for reelection, raising
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money for their next election campaign, not actually leading. you canin, six years -- accomplish a lot in six years. i think we need more people back in washington who have other careers, who understand the issues that are actually faced in their states and will spend full time focusing on those issues as opposed to worrying about their next election. >> follow-up? thatiefly, let me just say everything in the u.s. senate is based on seniority. i am fortunate to have gotten their when i did. when i got there, mike crapo had been there for 10 years and i think he was 70 seventh in seniority. i'm actually in the low 50's now. seniority makes a tremendous amount of difference. i've been a public service most of my adult life. very little has surprised me in washington, d.c. one is, the cavalier attitude
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about money. likes thely, how, congress is and -- how complex the congress is and how important seniority is. the affordable care act, there are a number of good features. the fact that children can stay on their parents policies until they are 26. the fact that it covers pre-existing conditions, the lifting of a lifetime caps. the limitation has been a disaster. what we need in washington is leaders who will focus on how we fix this. how do we make it better? in idaho, we have over 75,000 people who now have health insurance because of affordable care act. it,cannot just repeal because that means we are putting 75,000 people out on the
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street without coverage. on are thed to focus good features and how we can make it better. i've lived with this disaster since i went to the u.s. senate, and it's no secret that i voted against it. indeed, every single republican voted against it. every single democrat voted for it and it has been a disaster. you cannot talk about this complex subject -- the building gave us was 3000 pages. and they handed to us for five minutes before harry reid called the vote on the bill. -- 45 minutes before harry reid called the vote on the bill. i want you to look at the patient choice and affordability and response ability empowerment act. it is a legislative or bozo by the senate republicans that talks about how we would fix it proposal by theecal
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senate republicans that talks about how we would fix it. it is a very good thing for the american people. this has been an unmitigated disaster. it cannot go on the way it was -- it is. americans -- excuse me come 87% of americans were insured o at the time they brought this on board. they were supposed to get the more, but they haven't gotten that. they should have just passed the bill and given them insurance. let me give you specifics. i know we are in limited time somewhat, but senator, can you talk about the high point of that, and then mr. mitchell, if you could respond. >> it will not recite -- not surprise you that we republicans view this like this. largest industry in america. it is arguably the most personal matter of our lives. and arguably one of the most complex things we do in our
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lives. what happened? the politicians came in and took this on and said we will redo this. what could possibly go wrong? everything has gone wrong. waves back the market system into this with some sideboards that needed to be added before obamacare was enacted. >> your response, mr. mitchell? >> a couple of things. first of all, a 3000 page bill that defers regulations to government agencies, i agree. i think that is stupid. this is one of the reasons where congress has abdicated its role for enacting legislation, but the a cas was the dodd frank act. aca as well as the dodd frank act. --have people voting on laws we need to have people voting a lot that they have read and understand and that will work for the people. in terms of the republican proposal, i looked at it. some of the criticisms are that it doesn't cover pre-existing
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conditions and dumping things back into the free market would be a disaster for people here are not and was well at the american people. >> us jump to immigration reform. obviously, a hot topic here in idaho. it is crucial for many of our farmers, ranchers. let's begin with you, mr. mitchell. if you were elected and had an opportunity to affect immigration reform, what would you do? >> immigration reform, everybody agrees we need immigration reform. but we also need leaders back in washington who are willing to tackle the problems. president who dorf of the lbs church who has called for common sense reform. he has said that we need a that weof principles love our neighbors and family stay together and we enforce just and compassionate laws.
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part of that proposal let mr. do needted against, we a guestworker program that is supported by agricultural industry. citizenshipth to for these young people who came to this country and have lived their entire lives in this country. we do need a sensible path to citizenship. those are the two primary components that were in the original senate proposal that was passed over my senate -- senators objection. >> this is something that just breaks your heart. we could do immigration reform so easily in this country if you broke it down into its component parts. and started by what is the problem, not a problem. the problem is that people are entering this country illegally. there are 200 plus countries on
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the face of this earth. you cannot walk into any country on the face of this earth without going to the requirement that they have for whether you can get in or not. -- first of all, we need to secure the borders. it sounds trite, but the u.s. is the most sophisticated country on the face of this earth and should be able to secure the borders. at the same time, we need a guestworker program. we have several industries that need it badly. -- this is ama chart of unaccompanied children entering the u.s. illegally. in 2012 when he legalized essentially tens of thousands of people here with the stroke of a pen, this is opening the borders even more. the numbers have skyrocketed since 2012 with people pouring in here. wes is got to stop before talk about other parts of the problem. play, the senator
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went over his time. you have 30 seconds. shrillproblem is the partisanship. it's not just raising the walls on the border. it's working together and coming together because we have shared and common values and that is why we need sensible immigration reform, and we need people in washington who are not just going to demagogue the issue, but actually try to solve the problem. , -- and i >> aee couple of quick follow-ups for the senator and mr. mitchell can respond as well. on immigration, you talked about securing the border more. any specific ideas? would it be a wall? would it be more personnel for the border? also, what would your position be on amnesty? >> a two-part question. it's all of the above.
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when you are doing security on a border, as israel does, as any country does, you use all of the above to secure your border. but you stop people from coming in here it legally. if they do come across the border, immediately, you put them back across where they came from. we've got to stop this. we are on track for 100,000 unaccompanied children to come in this year. we've got to stop this. on amnesty, i will not vote for amnesty. i am opposed to amnesty. .> mr. mitchell >> the unaccompanied minor problem at the border, i agree with pope francis. if the humanitarian problem. it is unfortunate when i hear people like the senator trying to demonize the children that are coming across the border. we need sensible immigration reform to address these issues,
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to address the humanitarian crisis of these unaccompanied minors. in termse same time, of what it comes down to, we need people in washington willing to address the issue. >> and as far as amnesty goes, what your position? a misleading label. when you're talking about the 18-year-old in pocatello who has lived here all of his or her life except for six months, we are not really talking about amnesty. we are talking about a path to citizenship. it's a misleading label. >> there has been a lot of talk in idaho about the takeover of federal land. is this a legitimate public policy issue, or just political posturing? what is your position on state control or management of federal lands in idaho? >> there has been a lot of talk about it, and it's nothing new. you were around for the
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sagebrush rebellion, as was i. the constitution says every state will be admitted on equal footing. out that some states were more equal than others. my colleagues can see this when i tell them that to out of every 3 -- two out of every three acres in idaho is owned by the federal government. that mean we cannot do anything echo absolutely not. -- can't do anything? absolutely not. let me give you an example. we created a state committee, as you know, that actually overseas before service. the four services bound by what the committee does. -- actually overseas the forest service. the forest service is bound by ittee does.mmunit
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if we did that, and did it on a collaborative basis, like i did the roadless rule, that would be a step forward for idaho as far as using the federal lands to move idaho forward. republican of the proposal to take over all of the federal lands, i agree with attorney general watson. it's a nonstarter. we should not be wasting our time on that. what we need, though, is leadership in washington in terms of working with the federal agencies to make sure that these lands are used productively for the people here in idaho. we also need somebody back in the senate who will reform the
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payment removed taxes around the program -- programmer on the state. as i've spoken to many educators, there are problems with the way that program is applied and implemented, and it needs to be changed. but we need leaders in washington to address those kinds of issues to make sure that we here in idaho are able to benefit from the federal , as well as making sure we are preserving our outdoor and recreational heritage, because that's one of the things that makes idaho special, our public lands -- lands and places. debt andk about the things we will or will not cut. is there something you can assure that you would -- that would protect social security, maybe even strengthen it for future generations? >> social security isn't earned benefit that we all pay into during our lifetimes. benefit that we
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all pay into during our lifetimes. i will protect those benefits. i'm concerned that if republicans get control of congress, i'm concerned with what they will do with social security. in 2006, republicans attempted to privatize social security. if that had occurred, and then 2008, recession in 2007, we would have been in worse shape than the great depression if we had allowed republicans to privatize social security. i will make sure that social security and medicare benefits are protected for our senior citizens. >> if i'm reelected to the u.s. senate, i commit to you i will not in any way reduce benefits that people have earned for social security. i will not reduce social security benefits for those people who are on it. that, it is correct
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that we need to strengthen social security. as it exists, it is going to go broke. it is not that big of a bite into the federal budget this -- right now, but it will be in future years. future benefits lap to be adjusted so it is sustainable. if it is not sustainable, that will be a real problem. can be done. interestingly enough, i sat through a couple of proposals on that. it doesn't take that much back to doif you go it. but again, i commit to you i'm not going to reduce benefits people have earned on social security. it is a moral obligation as well as a legal obligation.
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>> center, this is not an endless pot of money. the blur fearful that baby boomers -- people are fearful that baby boomers will not see a social security check in 20 years, maybe 15 years when they retire. but i've heard that, but i look at the numbers. i think you're, right that people who are in their 30's and 40's will not see social security as it is today. the benefit that they have earned up to the point that social security has changed, they will continue to have. this unfunded liability, this borrowing from china in order to pay benefits, that cannot going -- go on. but it can be done if people sit down and give and take on that. >> final word on social security? >> as far as we know, when a borrowing from china to fund social security. all of the numbers that i've looked at, social security is
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sound for at least the next 20 years. running around now saying that the skies going to fall in like chicken little is not right. the senator is saying that he will support social security to get three months ago he told his supporters that they could dig into the bank that he was going to cut entitlement. i'm glad he has changed his position on that. >> that simply isn't true. i've always committed -- when i ran last time i've committed that i would not touch social security benefits, veterans benefits, or medicare. you have earned those benefits. i recognize that. i appreciate that. i will never touch those benefits. there are other forms of entitlements that will definitely have to be changed as we ratchet the budget back. >> this question has to do with safety, which is on increased alert level for many u.s.
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citizens in light of several missteps involving our secret and a few other federal organizations. senator, first of all, you serve on the intelligence committee. how concerned should american about the safety inside our borders right now, and what is congress doing to bring that alert down -- alert level down? >> i would say this, there's no reason to panic. we should reason always be vigilant and on guard? absolutely. an intelligence community that we oversee, like i said, couple of times a week. admittedersee the 16 intelligence agencies and other intelligence efforts that we make. i feel very comfortable that they've done a great job as far as protecting the homeland.
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but they've got to be right 100% of the time. admittedly, we've had some breaks in catching people that were plotting against the u.s. we've had other incidences that no one will ever hear about. will -- need to go about their lives. we spent a lot of money on this. we spent a lot of time on this intelligence. it is a bipartisan thing. it is one of the most bipartisan things i do back in washington, d.c. and we are focused on keeping the homeland safe. >> mr. mitchell, safety, how much of a concern is it, and what would you do? >> i take safety very seriously. i lost a close friend on september 11 two was on one of the planes that hit the world trade center. the task force after 9/11, in particular the science and homelandy part of
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security. it is something i take very seriously. i also agree with the senator. -- toll need to rein remain vigilant and is is something we cannot take for granted. >> dr. weatherbee. have madechell, you reference in this debate about in washington, and i think that is a problem for all americans who have seen our government as being dysfunctional. how do we get at that, however? it seems to me that, perhaps, on both sides there are entrenched and we are satisfied with the status quo and the gridlock that we currently have in congress. its isway we get beyond violating different types of people to go back to washington. in terms of the gridlock we face in washington, i blame harry reid, but i also blame mitch mcconnell.
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terms of the senate, which mr. risch referred to earlier, the seniority system in the senate might be part of the problem. elect mitchdid not mcconnell, nor did we elect harry reid. we need people back there like myself who go back to washington and are used to working with different types of people. during the course of my career, i've worked with democrats, republicans, liberals, conservatives -- i know how to bring people together. my career,course of i have handled matters in 25 different states and 10 different countries. i know how to bring people together to get them to work together. my life skills as of -- as a problem solver, that is what i would bring to washington, d.c. >> are you really getting at the root of the problem? perhaps it is elected officials. but what about the interest
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groups who are entrenched in washington who have the financing and ability to block most pieces of legislation who are perfectly happy with the status quo? >> i agree that special interest had way too much power in washington, d.c. and they have way too much power in connection with these politicians. and unfortunately, it's because making contributions to special interest both of you need to shine the light -- to special interests. we need to shine a light on special interest in washington, d.c. would only i said i serve one term. i want to shine a light on that and not focus on being reelected in six years. >> the gridlock in washington, veryis caused by the two philosophical differences of the parties and the people elected
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to the u.s. senate. they reflective area different view of what america is and should be that the american people have today. that is what has caused the gridlock to date. you have a people -- a group of people like idahoans who are conservative and do not want the federal government to stick its nose and there he aspect of life. and then i have -- every aspect of life. and then i have senators who come from other states, maybe massachusetts or maryland. they are spent -- sent down there to expand programs and tax more and get more for the social programs. this causes gridlock between us. i'm dying to compromise. it's compromise that got us here. it was compromise, little by little, drip by drip, since the second world war that has gotten us to where we are. we can compromise our way out of this, but they've got to
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compromise. when you stand up and served talking about spending less in washington, d.c., they look at you like you've got three head. to compromise. that is what will get us out of this. >> 30 seconds before going to closing statements. it is a short question and requires a short answer. what is for you, senator, and what would be for you, mr. mitchell, your number one priority in his job as u.s. senator? and we will begin with you, mr. mitchell. >> my number one priority will be focusing on idaho. what can i do for idaho? as i've said, my number one priority there is jobs and the economy. we need someone in washington who will be an advocate for ofho, an advocate fried interest, idaho values. that is where i would be. there are many things that a u.s. senator can do to help improve the economy and job
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situation in idaho. raising the minimum wage -- we raise the minimum wage, which was blocked by my opponent. 176,000 people in this state will receive a raise. that is over 20% of the workforce. we can also bring jobs back home to idaho. that would be my number one priority. >> senator? >> i will continue to go back there until those people we can't have business as usual. and tell those people we can have business as usual. we've got to be spending less. i've done this for six years and i will continue to do it. the continued existence of this country depends upon us solving that problem. number two, i have six offices in idaho. we focus on constituent problems. i have a really good team to address the problems that people have with the federal government. we a people streaming in their everyday with problems from the veterans administration to
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social security and every problem you can think of. i have a great team. i will continue to focus on that. >> it's been a lively hour and we have one minute for each of you to address the camera for your closing statements. show, as we started the senator risch, you can close. >> thank you very much. you for watching. remember what i promised you only started, and that was that this would be a very clear choice. if you want a conservative republican, i'm that person. if you want a liberal democrat, he's that person. what you are seeing here is a very clear contrast between the two of us. as i said, this gentleman supported both hillary clinton and barack obama as they made their pushes for the white house. i spent six years fighting every day to stop this fundamental, thatral, and change agenda barack obama has promised to bring to us and works for everyday. we have 837 days left of barack obama. if you send it back to the u.s. senate, i will continue to bring that we don't want
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what he is selling. on the other hand, if you think that barack obama and harry reid and dianne feinstein and barbara boxer are moving the country the way you want, then you need to vote for this guy. got twoia has already senators. they don't need a third senator. if you reelect me to the u.s. senate, vicki and i would be honored, privilege, and humbled to once again serve be there. god bless you all and thank you for watching tonight. >> mr. mitchell? >> once again, i'm running against senator risch. i've never met harry reid. i've never met president obama. -- i would go back to washington to represent the interests and values we all share here in idaho. idaho deserves a u.s. senator who understands the importance of a strong economy and good paying jobs. bipartisanrk for
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solutions to our nation's challenges. champion for idaho working families. i would be a senator who represents the interests and values of the people of idaho. by voting no and never offering solutions, mr. risch inc. he has an easy job. but he has failed when it comes to standing up for the people in idaho. senator risch excess dysfunction, gridlock, and partisanship. it is just wrong. we need a working senate and a working senator. let's move away from the failed policies of the past. it is time to open a window and let some fresh air into the u.s. senate. i respectfully ask for your vote on november 4. >> thank you for being here. that's all the time we have for now. this is the first in a series of debates that we are doing. you can see them posted online at
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thanks for watching. >> last week, we covered the wisconsin governors debate between governor scott walker challenger mary burke. here is a portion of that. pro-life, but i can only imagine how difficult it is for someone going through that really difficult decision to determine whether they will end a pregnancy or not. supportedy i legislation in this state that would increase safety and provide more information to a woman considering her options. that specific bill leaves the final decision to a woman and her doctor. that issue has been resolved. it was decided by the u.s. supreme court 40 years ago and it does not have bearing directly on this debate. for the larger issues, i'm seeking to protect the health and safety of every wisconsin
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citizen. >> i believe it should be up to a woman, according to her religious beliefs and in consultation with her family and her doctors to make that decision on her own. when governor walker talks about making these decisions and passing legislation that stands in the way of women being able to make their own health care choices, making politicians in madison the deciders on this, it's ridiculous. and to talk about safety at the same time that you have cuts in funding that have resulted in the closures of five clinics throughout the state of wisconsin that provided needed health care, such as cancer andening, birth control, family planning services along with mandating invasive procedures that are against a woman's right to choose, this is absolutely wrong and i think it should be women who make these choices for themselves. >> in terms of funding, we just moved it others. for example, the winnebago county health department. we just moved it from one area
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to another in areas that are highly respected within there's -- those communities. we increased funding for the university of wisconsin cancer noter, tuned -- to help only a uw, but across the state. we have added more to help victims of domestic violence and child abuse prevention. beenyou look at what we've talking about, we have added to that in the past budget. >> governor walker, i think, is trying to have it both ways. he talks about health and safety as if it's pretty reasonable. but his position is anything but reasonable. he believes that even in the pe and thates of ra it is not a woman's choice and it is politicians deciding that for them. that is wrong. taking that decision away from him and is not something i would do as governor. but you can see that entire debate at coming up shortly just a couple of minutes from now, and arkansas but -- senate debate
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between senator pryor, robert -- cottoncan -- represented and lafrance and swaney. here are the candidates. >> i mark pryor and i approve this message. >> and the director of a 24-hour domestic violence shelter. we got to do something to break this cycle of violence and tom cotton is not doing anything to help. commerce bank on voted against protecting women and children from domestic violence. ed congressman cotton vot against protecting women and children from domestic violence. there's a big difference between tom pryor and tom -- mark pryor and tom cotton. one must protect women and children and the other doesn't. >> i've never been political, but it's hard to ignore the senate race. the more i read, the more i'm concerned about tom cotton. did you know he voted against equal pay for women? and he thinks women should be charged more for health care than men.
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cotton was also the only arkansas congressman to vote twice against helping women dealing with domestic violence. it makes you wonder, what does he have against women? >> i am tom cotton and i never roof this message. but my husband and i started this business on a leap of faith. we have everything from the body shop guy to the crew to the dispatched to the drivers. our dream now is survival. obamacare has already raised the premium and is already costing a fortune. it's not only hurting our business, but our employees. it was supposed to make health care a lot more affordable. it has done everything but make health care more affordable. next year, we might not even be able to afford coverage at all. our hands are tied. it is frustrating to realize that your own senator cast the deciding vote on obamacare. thisld him personally how would affect our business and our employees. i wish senator pryor had
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listened to us only told him how obamacare would affect our business. and i wish he would have voted against it, but he didn't. >> this morning, pollsters who rothenberg posted this about that race. one media outlet suggests senator mark pryor leads challenger cotton by a couple of percentage points. are subjectives and and released. now to the arkansas senate debate. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] >> at this hour the race for a seat in the united states senate . the contestants u.s. representative tom cotton, the republican nominee. lefrance, the green candidate. r. pryor, the democratic swaney, the r. independent candidate. each candidate will have two minutes for an opening statement. each will have 1:50 to respond to a question, while rebutals are limited to one minute.
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at the conclusion, each will have an opportunity for a closing statement. opening and closing statements were determined prior to tonight by a drawing in which the candidates for their representatives participated. our time keeper is elizabeth lewis. our first opening statement begins with mr. swaney. > well, thank you for watching this gay. i'm with the green party. the green party is the only progressive political party in his senate race today. the green party has several characteristics that differentiate it from the other parties. strimes i hear people say the green party is like the democratic party. it is not. we have guiding principles of peace, social justice, and rotecting the environment.
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early in his term, senator pryor was a strong supporter of the iraq war. he since then, we have added more than a trillion dollars to our national debt. the green party believes it is wrong to hire people to work and not pay them enough money to live during the time that they are working. because of that, we support a living wage. which is more than a minimum wage. but senator pryor can't even support $10.10 an hour, supports by his party. finally, the green party believes climate change is the most serious problem facing the planet. we believe taxes is a necessary
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first step to stop this problem. senator pryor voted for a bill that would have prevented congress from even discussing a arbon tax. >> mr. pryor, two minutes. >> i want to thank you for allowing me to be your senator. you sent me to washington to get things done in a bipartisan way for arkansas and america. we have done a lot of good things together, from saving jobs in texarkana to funding research at arkansas state. from shrinking the federal government but at the same time honoring the commit mingts we've made to our veterans. i believe i represent the best state in the union and the best people in america. i also believe we have a lot at take in this election.
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i don't know if you heard the audio, but several months ago senator cotton went to california to spend time with is billionaire donors. it is a vote against arkansas. you can hear the ovation on the tape for voting against arkansas. folks, he's not listening to you. he's listening to them. that applause is still ringing in his ear, and those dollar signs are still in his eyes. congressman cotton has allowed his ambitions to get the best of him. he will vote however he can so he can get their money to win this race. he has his billionaire, but i have you. that's all i've ever had is you, he people of arkansas. you swr prayed for me, you have set my course, you have given me direction. that's why tonight i am asking
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for your vote on november 4. i know together we can keep america strong and keep arkansas working. that's what i mean when i say rkansas comes first. >> thank you. mr. lafrance. i would like to say thank you for allowing me to be here among he other candidates. i think today you will find a distinct difference between myself and the libertarian candidate and the other candidates today. they have their own interest groups that influence how they vote in washington. all three parties have one common goal. that is, grow the size of the federal government. it is to consolidate control and power over our lives in washington, d.c.
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because that control means more money for their campaigns. that is a cycle i think needs top end, and end now. the overarching goal of my platform is to take this consolidated power in washington, d.c. and diffuse it down to the state level, to the county level, to your communities, because this is america, and this is founded on local government and a limited ederal government. so now we have a federal deficit of over $18 trillion. it is a federal deficit both republicans and democrats have controlled over the last 10 years. no matter which party was in power, we saw spending and the deficit grow. i think it needs to end now. so what i will bring to arkansas and the rest of the country is a
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voice in washington of a true limited government. we will return that paur back to of the o the people country. >> as i've traveled around the state of arkansas i have listened to people. they are frustrated with washington. and they should be. i vice president been in washington very long, but i've been there long enough to know it needs to change. washington could use more of the common sense that i learned rowing up on my parents' farm. washington could use more courage, as shown by our combat troops. our national debt is almost $18 trillion. parents are worried about the kind of future we're going to leave our kids. so am i. anne and i were so excited last
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week to announce we're expecting our first child, a baby boy. we want to make sure our baby has the same kind of future that we-all had. not a country that's poor with less opportunity and less safe and secure. unfortunately, that's the kind of future that barack obama's policies promise. senator pryor has voted with barack obama 90% of the time. voting for every single penny of new deficit spending. mark pryor said barack obama doesn't offer a lot to rural america to states like arkansas. i agree. i just don't understand why he votes with him 90% of the time. barack obama's policies are on the budget. i agree with that. in arkansas those policies are called mark pryor. i think you agree there is a better way. let's repeal obama care and get health care working again.
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let's stop terrorists before they attack us here again. if you are ready for change, i'm ready to serve. >> mr. cotton, thank you. our first question tonight goes o mr. pryor. of . pryor, i think a lot people are turned off by the negative campaigns, especially some of the groups, like citizens united. >> well, i'm turned off by the negative tone as well. ou know, i wish that the >> you know, they set the done months ago.
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to get him out of the senate seat and get me in. and you have to ask why? here you have congressman cotton hanging out with his billionaire supporters in the resort. there is more on that audio tape i mentioned a few moments ago. there is a point in there where they say, tom, you are in a room full of investors. why should we invest in you? i think that sums up the race pretty well. they are investing in tom cotton just like they would invest in a company. why? they want to get a payback on this investment, and they will. what he will do is cut things like cut social security. he will increase the age to 70 on medicare and social security. he will vote against farm bills and do things like that to find the so-called savings over here
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scomprks then turn around and give them enormous tax breaks over there. congressman goton is a good investment for them, and that's why they spent well over $20 million on television trying to buy the senate seat. ladies and gentlemen, guess what? this seat is not no sale. this seat belongs to you. i'm mark pryor, and if i have your vote, i will do this differently. >> i am here to say i have not aired a single ad in the state of arkansas. i'm sure a lot of television viewers here today will appreciate that. you can't turn on the tv without seeing a half dozen, dozen of these ads in a 30-minute program. that's a shame, because these negative ads are not informing the voters of arkansas what senator pryor or representative do the cotton are going to do in
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washington. they are just attacking each other. hether it is an attack ad or a personal ad doing whatever, that's not telling you the voter what are they going to do for you in washington. because that's what matters in the end, what they are going to o for you. i can tell you i will vote for you, the arkansas -- the people of arkansas every day. the fact i don't have a lot of influence from outside parties, people that donate so's of thousands, hundreds of thousands to these -- these super powers, they are not doing it out of the goodness of their hearts. they are doing it for a return on their investment, just like a business. and they expect that return on investment through their votes and with a favor. there is no such influence on
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myself as a libertarian candidate. i will vote for you. ou don't have to be a big-time donor to visit me in washington, because every citizen will have access to visiting me and giving your opinions. >> i think the last thing everybody wants to hear is a l fighting.iticians frankly, i have dodged literal metaphorical ew bullets on the campaign trail are not a problem. i met some people on the campaign trail two weeks ago. they are two-income families, but they had to sell their morality and move in with their
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parents because the price of health care had gone up so much. look where we have come in six years under barack obama. we have only dreated 28,000 full-time jobs in arkansas, yet we have added 88,000 people to the food stamp rolls. 60,000 people have dropped out of the work force all together because they are so discouraged they don't want to look for ork. obama care has cost 2.5 million jobs. arkansas seniors, over 4,000, will see medicare plans canceled. i just saw one last week in arkansas. time and time again, mark pryor has rubber stamped barack obama's big time agenda. a vote for mark pryor is a vote
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for more of barack obama's policies. >> mr. swaney. >> i'm glad you asked that question. it's a very good question. i'm not particularly disturbed by the negative content of these ads that come from out of state. but i am disturbed by the sense united decision that made them possible and inflated the huge sums of money that are now we ted to these campaigns are very opposed to this decision by the supreme court of citizens united. it leaves two concepts of corporate personhood, the idea that a pile of paper is equal to an actual flesh and blood human being. this is something we very strongly oppose. as a result, we are in favor of and do support a constitutional amendment that would change the onstitution and define human beings to be national flesh and blood humans and nothing else
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therefore, we would like to see this decision overturned. the second opinion that should be overturned would be the hobby-lobby stigs, which we think is a bad decision and goes into the rehlm of imagination where they imagine a corporation can have religious feelings. this is simply in the relevant many -- rehlm of the ridiculous. if we add to this by giving them even more advantages, we are going to be building ourselves a bad place to live. we opposed the citizens united decision and support a constitutional amendment to repeal it. >> mr. swaney, thank you. mr. pryor for rebuttal. >> let me say, the negative ads in our view are bad for the system. they affect people's confidence in our government. i think the quality of
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information that these ads create is not good for the system. let me say, there are two things you never wavent to see in a political campaign when it comes to money. you don't want to see unlimited money and you don't want to see secret money. that's what you have with citizens united. i think money has a corosive event. this is the first election cycle we've seen in the state. it's been around three or four years. it is the first time, and it is a pretty ugly picture. i have already voted to change this system. i will continue to work to change this system. i think the fact that the supreme court has said citizens united can allow secret money and unlimited money, i think that's bad. what it does, it diminishes the voices of real citizens in arkansas, and that's not good or the system.
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>> our first question goes to mr. lafrance. >> i feel badly for people that don't have dvr's because of these multiple ads. some of these are not from outside groups. some of these are from the candidates own campaign. so along the same lines, what is the responsibility that you as a candidate have for the tone of your ads, and are you responsible for making sure that your ads don't lead the voters misled about your position on issues that are really of critical importance in our lives. >> thank you. the citizens united decision was definitely a tumultuous one where we have all these situations in state after state where they don't know who the money is coming from. they can air attack ads on whoever they want.
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personally, i think that the ads that we air, television, radio, should inform the voters of arkansas about what we would do while in office. the negative ads are usually just that. they are misleading people or take a single statistic and p.l.o. it out of proportion. it is just not right, and it is not fair to the voters who are trying to make an informed decision on election day. so unfortunately with the supreme court decision, right now there is not a lot that can be done about this. although, i can say as a candidate, and i would encourage my other candidates to do the same, i would come out publicly and specifically say i do not want this kind of support for my campaign. i do not want attack ads running in my name or from my name. i don't think that's the right way to run a campaign and i
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don't think it is the right way to represent the american people. >> mr. lafrance. >> i don't think people want to hear us whining about attack ads. i think they want to hear solutions for america. quite frankly barack obama hasn't offered solutions. here's what we need to do to address the real problems facing the people of arkansas when you look at high wages, employment or unemployment. we need to get back to basics. we need to balance our budget. we need to pass a balanced budget amendment, which i support. >> are you answering my question about what your job as a candidate is, or are you just doing talking points? is it your responsibility as a candidate to make sure your ads re not misleading? >> i also allowed him to go
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ahead, because we have no provision for a follow-up question. >> i can send whatever ads i want. i am proud of the campaign we have run. our campaign is about getting our economy going again so we can get more people back to work, not on the food stamp rolls, which is what has happened in the obama-pryor economy. fundamental you want to look at what's happened nationwide, the top 5%, people that live on assets and investments, they are actually seeing incomes go down. people who live off their labor, have to work to put food on the table, they have seen their incomes decline. because mark pryor always stands with barack obama well higher taxes and more spending like obama care and more big regulatory spending. i don't think that's right for arkansas. that's why i don't think people in arkansas are ready to vote
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for mark pryor, because a vote for mark pryor is a vote for barack obama. >> go ahead mr. swaney. >> i believe that the candidate is responsible for every piece of material that is sent on tv in his name. i believe that candidate should be held to account if its media is able to show those ads are misleading or untrue. that should be enough incentive for candidates not to lie and attack ads. i think that is a pretty direct answer to that question. i would like to say further, though, on a separate subject, if i'm allowed, that i'm opposed, and the green party is opposed to the death penalty. this subject has not been discussed much in the senate race. i want everybody to know that i am opposed to the death penalty. and when i am lucky enough to be elected to the united states senate, i will work very hard to eliminate the death penalty in
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the federal system. i wanted to make that statement in case i didn't get a chance to say so otherwise. >> mr. swney, thank you. mr. pryor. >> i want to thank you for that question, because i am responsible for the ads in my campaign. whenever we release an ad, we provide documentation to that ad, every fact that's in there. every vote, every statement. we put the context in there. this is something i sat down with my campaign team on day one, and i said look, one of the things we want to show about this campaign is integrity. the people of the state of arkansas deserve that. they deserve honesty when it comes to campaigning. now one thing you heard about from my opponent and one thing you see in his ad is his rhetoric is very clever. that's great for advancing his political career. that's going to help him climb
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he political ladder. the problem is, arkansans are smarter than that. time and again you will see -- in fact i can tell from experience in some of my races. i won the state very big and so did mike huckabee. you can chart this every election cycle. people here are very independent. they don't want to be told about a lot of misinformation and bad information. most of the people i talk to, when they see the ads come on television, they hit the mute button. i hear that over and over and over. again, like i said in my previous answer, we need to change this. we need to get the supreme court to reverse citizens united or actually amend the constitution to make sure this doesn't happen
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in the future. >> mr. lafrance. >> thank you for the opportunity for rebuttal here. again i would just reiterate what i have already stated. the money being donated is not money being donated by people like you and i, but the money being donated by the large special interest groups, by the unions, by the wealthy individuals, wall street banks, big corporations across the country, that money is not being donated to these campaigns they have a strong political belief or because they think it is the right thing to do. they are making an investment in every candidate they throw money at. that's an investment you and i and people across this country cannot afford to make. so that's something that has to change. , ere is no special interest
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and i will work for the people of arkansas and no one else. >> next question to mr. cotton. >> mr. cotton, there is open war in syria and iraq. there is something that looks a whole lot like undeclared war going on in the ukraine. our soldiers for a couple decades, our service personnel of all the branches of the service have been asked a lot, ranging from extended deployment and the giving of their lives rvings and it's all been very spencey. what strategies should we have to contain threats such as these ca that can be applied in a bipartisan manner over a long course of time that we can fford?
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>> the fundamental responsibility of our government is to keep america safe. barack obama's indecision has made america face greater risks in the world. unfortunately, mark pryor has been rubber-stamping that foreign policy. if we look at what's happening in the islamic state, they are rampaging across the region. they are killing americans, they are burying people alive. this is happening because barack obama failed to take the advice of his generals in 2011 when they asked for a small stay-behind force. not like iraq in 2006 when we were fighting the precursor group, but trainers, planners, advisors. because of that decision, we lost our leverage with the iraqi government. we called into question the trustworthyness of the united states among allies in the region, and we allowed al-qaeda in the area to regroup and move to syria and take advantage of
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the vacuum there. they are not just a terrorist group, they are a terrorist army. if we don't stop them, they are going to continue to rampage across the middle east, and they could attack us here in the united states. their own leader when he was released from cap taste said "i will see you guys in new york." the president doesn't have a political strategy. what we need is to take it seriously. no commander-in-chief would ever take any option on the ground, including troops on the ground. because the islamic state certainly isn't taking any options off the table. if barack obama does that and rk pryor once again rubber stamps his failed policies. >> it is a very difficult situation. ou can go on and on about what
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why it he situation and -- how it should have been handled differently. i do not like warks but i personally am not a pacifist. i think we need to defend the united states from attack and also put an end to mass human rights violations. it is my judgment that the situation in syria and iraq with isis meets both those criteria. i support military action to destroy isis. i think congressman cotton was correct when he listed vast quantities of human rights violations being reported from these people by independent eye witnesses from all over. i think congress needs to authorize it, and i think we need to support from the united nations, and i think we need to seek support from other islamic countries. i think that support should also
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go to helping defray the cost of this because isis is a threat to the entire world, not merely the united states. briefly speaking about ukraine, we have no business messing around there. i have a strong suspicion that we initiated that problem. if the russians were trying to influence a group of people in mexico to overthrow the mexican government and put in a government in mexico hostile to the united states, i think we would be very upset. we have common enemies. i think we need to work constructively with them. and i think we should work constructively with the chinese. we have common enemies. >> thank you for your service. let me ask you about isis for a moment. my number one priority as your senator is to compeep america
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safe from terrorism. isis is a terrorist group. we must meet threats like this head on. that's why i support the air strikes in order to damage isis and we have to destroy their capability to harm america. whenever it comes to something like this, i have three criteria. this isn't new. this is not something i created in the campaign. this is something i thought about probably my first month in the senate when president bush was in office. first, there must be a clear national security threat. second, there must be a clear mission with defineable and attainable goals, and means when we know when we hit an end, that means when the job is done, and third, there must be a coalition with regional partners in there that are bearing the burden along side americans and putting themselves at risk just like americans are in harm's way.
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i'm not sure what congressman cotton's criteria is when it comes to this, but it seems that he is arguing to a more open-ended commitment in iraq. one thing that has not come up, is he is in to nation building. he's also voted to cut schools, roads, and hospitals here in america. i believe for us to be strong abroad, we have to be strong at ome. >> i would also like to thank mr. cotton for his service. it is very much appreciated. when it comes to isis, i think we need to take a pause and realize, a lot of this is our own doing. this began with the bush administration's decision to invade iraq and overthrow saddam hussein with no plans about what
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to do after that happened. that left a significant power vacuum that we are still 10 years later dealing with. we helped install a prime minister that was very discriminatory against certain fax factions in iraq that did not bring the country together. he was our guy, and he helped to divide that country even further. in fact, isis has gained such a stronghold there will because there is such division and because so many iraqis don't trust their own government. they would rather trust someone associated with their own religious secretary. so isis being what it is now is a threat. i think we have to take actions, but it should not be unilateral. this must be a multieye country effort to ensure we -- multi-country threat, and ensure we take care of these terrorists and allow windse wounds that have been taking hold for years
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and decades to finally heal. to finally have some self-control over their own future and their own governance. i think that's the way to approach this. now, representative cotton, i do degree with him on some foreign policy issues. one major wa one was his support of barack obama's effort overtime effort to interact with syria last year. barack obama wanted to bomb a an rebels, even though third were rebels. /3 of arkansans approved it. i think tom cotton is wrong. i will provide safety and security for americans. >> when you are in combat you learn some basic lessons. when we go into a new sector in baghdad, we would dismount our weapons to be at the ready. if you look hard and tough, your
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enemies will think you are hard and tough. if you pull up, lollygag around, you will look weak and soft and people will be ready to take a strike at you. barack obama has made america look weak and soft in the world. senator pryor has been weak and unsteady when it comes to our safety and security. hen i was a lonely voice alling for security in iraq. senator pryor voted no. he also voted forces in syria against isis. i don't know what's happened in the meantime. mr. barack obama said he needed senator pryor's vote. whenever he says he needs senator pryor's vote, he gets it. >> ok. next question. >> there has been talk about food stamps today, and the farm bill passed this year includes
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unding for the subpoena -- supplemental nutritional program. with food stamps. should they be linked? >> yes, i think so. about $80 billion has been added to the food stamp program, and i support that food stamp program, and i believe the food stamp program should stay in the farm bill. the money goes to farmers that grow the food that feed americans. i actually find it a little offensive that people in congress who give away sometimes hundreds of billions of dollars of advantages to the richest people in this country, starving our federal government of needed revenue and don't care anything about the effect that it has on our deficit on the other hand seem to think it is just terrible that some persons are getting food to eat and that the people that grew that food are getting paid money to do that.
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i think that is uncon shunnable -- unconscionable, i think it is wrong, and i do support the food stamp farming bill. there are some fundamentals differences. i think the remainder of that money goes to wealthy farmers and not enough to the less well off farmers. i also think it doesn't make the right priority choices for agrabusiness in terms of environmental choices the agra -business uses. so i do see issues, but i don't want to see it divorced from the farm bill. >> obviously the farm bill is an important piece of legislation for arkansas. i think you can argue, of any bill congress passes in a five-year period, the farm bill is probably the most important to arkansas because it is about 20% of arkansas' economy because
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about 25% of our economy is ag-related. there is a difference between the two of us in this race because congressman cotton voted against the farm bill. he is the only member of the arkansas delegation to do that. every indicator i have ever seen says we should vote for this because it is good for arkansas. this is not just about the farmers. this is about rural farmers, rural broadband. all those things are in the farm bill. we need those to pass so we can help arkansas stay competive in the global economy. yes, specifically about the food stamp program. my opponent, as we all know, has been talking about the food stamps and how the president has
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hijacked the food stamp bill. it is either in the "washington journal" or "new york times," i don't remember which one, where they gave out fake nobel prizes, and the one they gave to congressman cotton was for political fiction, ads that don't connect to the real issues in arkansas. his rhetoric is good, he talks a good game, but the truth is, that does not help arkansas' farmers, that doesn't help people in rural arkansas, rural america. >> mr. lafrance. >> nowhere in our constitution did our founding fathers give the federal government the authority to take income, to take wealthy, take earnings from one group of people and give it to the other people at their own discretion. that is not freedom, and that's not an american quality. i believe issues such as helping
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out those struggling to make ends meet and have food on their tablese tables or helping people with housing, these kinds of issues should be dealt with in the private sector by private charitable organizations. let the american people keep their tax money. let us decide what causes are best to give to, not politicians in washington. this is what i spoke about in my opening statement. this consolidation of power and this continual power grab in washington is an attribute of all of my opponents. things like the food stamp and the food bill. they get dolled out to supporters, people that support their campaigns, and it is wrong . the federal government and elected officials have no business taking our money and to give it to other people at their
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wn discretion. we the american people are compassi. nate enough to help others. we can help the most people most efficiently, rather than having fiscated by -- con washington politicians. it's wrong and if i am elected, i will work to fix it. >> i think we need a real farm bill that focuses on farmer. i voted for those bills in congress. senator pryor and barack obama insist on doing things the old way, keeping them combined. that's the status quo. if you are happy with the status quo and $18 trillion in deficit, then you probably want to keep he status quo.
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i worked on my parents small farm from a very early age i learned a lot of lessons on that farm. one is you can't spend more money than you take in. and i learned it is not enough to live at your means, have you to live below your means because you have to save for a rainy day. that's what we need to do in washington. we need a farm bill to help farmers, but we also need a food stamp bill without the waste and abuse with the institutionalized fraud that gain the system so they can enroll more people on food stamps. we don't have that system here in arkansas but guess what? your tax bills are paying for it. the farm bill that passed was a bad adeal for arkansas farmers. the food stamp program has grown under barack obama by almost 70%.
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arkansas farmers get about one half of one percent of that bill. i think that's a bad deal. that's why i think a vote for mark pryor is a vote for those failed barack obama policies. >> to mr. swaney. >> this is an interesting discussion. talking about the national debt and the cost of the federal government. i often believe the republican party exists for one reason and one reason only. that is to ensure that rich people pay the lowest possible tax. they do that by starving the federal government of revenue, thus driving up our national debt. they did that by reducing the capital gains tax. they did that by limiting the inheritance tax. they did that by refusing to pass new taxes. that did that with bush tax cuts. they did that by allowing
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corporations to keep how many trillion dollars off shore so they didn't have to pay tax bringing it back to the united states. yet these same people find it unhappy that they need to reduce spending by taking money from the women's, infants, and children's program. these are people that don't care if babies starve. they love their ideology more than they love human beings. >> next question to mark pryor. >> if you are elected or in this case re-elected, what would you like to see happen with the affordable care act. please include in your answer what result your decision would have on those unploipped employed and those with employer-sponsored plans. >> thanks for that question. i do want to talk about some specifics here in a moment. please remember, before the affordable care act passed, people in arkansas were
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routinely denied health insurance if they had a preexisting condition. in fact, they were one medical emergency away from bankruptcy. back then the insurance companies have all the power. we needed to put patients back in charge of their own health care. i do support changes in the law. i do. but i don't want to go back to those days. my opponent, congressman cotton rvings has already voted to go back to those days. he has voted to allow people with preexisting conditions to be denied health insurance. a few weeks ago i was in church and a guy came up to me and gave me a hug. he say thank you for voting for the affordable care act. he said i'm a die betic. i have not had private health insurance in 15 years, but now i do. congressman cotton wants to take that away from him. i don't.
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specifically ings about the option could be the democratic cover it to work together. i hope we keep the private option. ght now we have over 200,000 arkansans on the exchange. -- gathers about >> thank you. mr. lafrance. >> very succinctly, the affordable care act needs to be repealed in its entirety. it has been a disaster for the united states. health cares are skyrocketing. i talked with doctors throughout arkansas and the united states. they have made one thing clear. they are focused on their computer screens when they are talking to patients making sure they put in the right key words
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and the right codes because of the mandates of the affordable care act. their focus has gone from patient care to dealing with the affordable care act and federal government regulations on health care. and it's wrong. so the first step is to repeal obama care. the second step is to get government out of the health care industry. a long time ago health care used to be affordable for americans, and it was an insurance product. today it is not affordable for a .ot of people it is a system that's out of control. part of that was the founding a system of medicare and medicaid. a lot of that is the drug companies that have driven up prices. ealth insurance isn't really safe anymore. think about your auto insurance. policy ok the current
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with your l auto insurance, if you took your car to the gas station, insurance would pay for your gas. that's not what insurance is for. insurance is to protect us from cat sfrosk illnesses. right now it is just a transfer of wealth from healthy people people to ill people. it has gotten worse under obama care. we need to restructure it -- repeal it and restructure the entire system. >> mark pryor casts a decisive vote for obama care. he is responsible for that law. i think of all the people i met across the state of arkansas, is one story i want to tell is of a man that runs a dental office. they lost their health insurance because their office wasn't obama care compliant. it didn't have pediatric care and neo-natural care.
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some companies obviously need and want those provisions. anne and i need those provisions in our health insurance. this couple is in their late 50's. they have grand kids. they don't have kids. yet they lost their health insurance because barack obama and mark pryor thinks government-run health insurance is better than you and your those look at all the problems obama care has caused. 2.5 million jobs lost. 700 million in cuts to pay for obama care. arkansas citizens just got over 400,000 cancellations despite barack obama's promises you can keep your plan if you like your plan. and billions of dollars wasteoned a broken web site. we can do better. we can repeal obama care and trust patients and doctors. let you shop across state lines. let small businesses pool their
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resources together so they can negotiate better resources. it is not just obama care. when we start in health care reform, we can take a program like medicare and let the states make decisions for all their populations. mark pryor said he wants fixes on obama care but he never proposed any. and mark pryor always puts barack obama first, not arkansas. >> mr. swaney. >> the affordable care act is better than nothing. i have friends of mine, family members, that have been unable to visit a doctor for serious illness for years who have now been able to go to the doctor. so i don't want to say that i think the affordable care act is a bad thing. it's a step, but only a step in the right direction. for those who have very low incomes, it is affordable and possible then for the first time
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to see a doctor. this is a good thing. but there are many people that have a moderate income and are far from wealthy and can't afford the premiums for the affordable care act. not only that, the affordable care act does nothing about the cost of medicine. without some price discipline, you can expect that medical costs will continue to increase. therefore we will continue to put more and more burdens on the citizens and the government. therefore the green party calls for a national health insurance and take the insurance industry out of medicine and remove the profits. we believe, in the green party, that basic medical care is a huge u human right, and that denial for any reason is basically a violation of human rights, and in some cases might be moralally equivalent to murder. other nations have done this and have done a good job, and they
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get better outcomes for half the cost because they have national health insurance. we are addicted to the idea that capitalism like a religion must always be right and must always be the only solution for every problem. it is not. it does not work in the case of the medical industry, and we eed national health insurance. >> thank you for that question. let me give you an idea of things i do support. contrary to what representative goton says, i don't support changes. i'm a democratic sponsor on a bill that would fix the exchanges for pastors and ministers. it is a technical fix. nonetheless, an important one. and i'm also supportive of repealing the medical tax. there are three things right there. let me also get back to congressman cotton's answer on the affordable care act. he had no answer at all for
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people with preexisting conditions. none. in other contexts, what he talks about, is reestablishing the high-risk pool. let me tell you something. i'm a cancer survivor. i've been in the high-risk pool. it is not a good place to be. when we had the high-risk pool in arkansas we had over 20% of the people that did not have insurance. if we resh reflish establish the high-risk pool, we are just throwing sick people to the wolves, and i don't support it. >> next question goes to mr. lafrance. >> mr. lafrance has two years left in his last term. he is a lame duck. he is blocked by a hostile majority in the house. he has a senate that at best is going to be pretty evenly and bitterly divided. this is a six-year term you are running for. would you please tell us what you would hope to accomplish in
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that six years, most of which with president obama. and please don't mention obama, if you can give me an answer like that. [laughter] >> i will try to. >> if elected, i want to leave office six years from now or be re-elected for another term potentially, with the federal government smaller than it is today. with the budget deficit gone, and a balanced budget amendment in place. i'd like to see the income tax system be completely over-hau led. we have a 75,000 will have plus page of income tax system. companies have to hire accountants, c.p.a.'s just to deal with. it's ridiculous. our laws made in washington are supposed to be laws made for the american people. people should be able to read and understand these laws. in fact, most of the republicans and democrats in washington
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don't bother reading them themselves, and most don't understand what's in them. with the income tax system, i would like to scrap it. put the whole thing in a shredder, 85,000 pages, probably a big mess. i would like to replace it with the fair tax where americans pay a sales tax to the federal government on final consumer goods. this can almost eliminate the i.r.s., tremendous cost savings for americans, and i think it will be a big boost to our economy. in addition, like i said, i want to strengthen the federal government. we have agencies sizz that are tremendously bloated that need to be cut down to size. we need to balance the budget. at the same time i would like to cut your tax burden as well, because the middle glass is just under tremendous strain from the income tax they are facing, and it is hurting families all across america.
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>> mr. cotton. >> well, barack obama can do a lot of damage in two years. he's already done a lot of damage in six years. it is one of the reasons why the people of arkansas are so disappointed with mark pryor for voting with him. wages are down almost 5%. how can we do that? we need to start with tax reform. we now have some of the highest taxes in the industrialized wormed. that makes arkansas and our country less competitive for jobs here at home. we need to reform our regulatory ricis -- regulatory laws, so you can hold congress accountable for every rule or legacy that comes out of those places so we don't need to wag our finger at nameless and
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faceless democrats. look what this is doing in places like north dakota or out in the middle of odessa? we can have gas prices that are falling, diesel prices that are falling. and we need to untap the potential for clean coal for every arkansasn, every american. in these last two years, the president can still do a lot of damage, and some of that damage could last for generations. if he continues to get supreme court nominations or back the lower courts, that will be an obama echo that will last for decades. if they had your way, you wouldn't have a second amendment right to keep and bear arms. our marriage laws would be over-turned. many there would be no protection for unbhorn life. >> mr. swaney.
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>> good question, but i fear i will not have time to cover all the ground. the first thing i would like to -- as senatorr of from arkansas would be attacking climate change. i know we don't hear a lot about it, but i care about the future and i care about the future of my children and grandchildren. we better get busy on it now. i believe we need to institute a carbon tax. a faction redepundu fundable to lower and middle income persons persons that will eliminate the priority much fossil fuels thereby moving ause way in stages from a carbon-based economy. the second thing i would like to do is tax wall street. i studied this and i found some interesting numbers. $1 trillion a day just in america just stocks and bonds.
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$383 trillion worth of financial transactions by wall street every year. not one penny of it is taxed. that needs to change. i want to see a minimum wage increased to a living wage i want to see money in the hands of working people and increased consumer spend ling. i want a balanced budget and social security saved. both of those things happen by restoring the tax cuts, the revenue taken from the federal government by these tax cuts by those people who only care about the interests of the rich . and last, i would cut off aid to israel. they don't need it. i would seek better relations with china and russia. >> mr. pryor? >> i want to thank you for asking that question on president obama.


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